Gear

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 is a display-equipped fitness tracker for $23

Written by Jaymin Shah

Chinese company Xiaomi continuously pumps out low-cost electronics, and now it has pumped out an upgraded fitness tracker. The Mi Band 2 is the first activity tracker the company has made with an OLED display, allowing the device to show step count, time, and heart rate. According to Forbes, the Mi Band 2 will cost 149 RMB ($23) in China once it’s available.

This is Xiaomi’s third fitness tracker: the company’s ultra-cheap $13 Mi Band 1 debuted two years ago, and following that was a pulse-monitoring device called, appropriately, the Mi Pulse. The Mi Band 2 keeps the simplistic design of the previous two devices, featuring a thin silicone band and a oval-shaped module, but adds the .42-inch OLED display, an “upgraded pedometer algorithm,” and a 20-day battery life. It also has a single button at the bottom of the screen that will let you scroll through different displays.

In addition to tracking steps, the Mi Band 2 will monitor sleep and vibrate to let you know if you’ve been sedentary for too long. Still, the display and optical heart rate monitor are key to this device. The display makes it easier to glance down at the device to either check the time or view your step progress, which is something many fitness trackers can do now (though some, like Misfit’s products, still go the way of design simplicity). The heart-rate monitor is important not because it’s unique technology, but because at $23 the Mi Band 2 will be the cheapest device to include one. Most trackers with built-in heart rate monitors, including those from Fitbit and Garmin, are priced at $100 or more.

There’s no word yet if the Mi Band 2 will be sold outside of China, but it officially goes on sale in that country on June 7. However, since the news of Xiaomi’s patent deal with Microsoft, we’re speculating that the company is planning on expanding to more Western markets.

About the author

Jaymin Shah

Jaymin Shah is a tech entrepreneur. He is the Founder & CEO of TechOptimals. He has made a name for himself in the tech media world as a writer relentlessly covering Technology, in addition to a broad range of startups. Contact Jaymin at jaymin@techoptimals.com

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